Eben's Handmade Gnudi

submitted by dave

Recipe courtesy Chef Eben Copple of The Yardley Inn, Yardley, Pennsylvania

This recipe is totally foolproof, but it depends largely upon being able
to get your hands on very good quality ricotta. Fresh ricotta is best,
and you should be able to find it at a good Italian specialties store or
at a supermarket with a large cheese section. If you can't find that, you
can use something called ricotta Impastata, which is a dry ricotta used
specifically for fillings, or a sheep's milk ricotta called Miticrema. If
you can't find any of those things, using chevre goat cheese will yield a
good texture. The gnudi, however, will be very strongly flavored which is
not appropriate for most sauces.

Makes enough for about 8 first course portions

3 lbs fresh ricotta
3 whole eggs, whipped
1 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
extra flour for rolling out the gnudi

Mix all the ingredients together just until the flour is incorporated. The
dough will be very sticky; this is okay... resist the urge to mix in more
flour. Dust the dough with flour and turn out onto a floured work
surface. Cut the dough into quarters, adding more flour to the cut edges.
Roll each quarter into a long cylinder about 3/4 of an inch thick,
coating it well with flour. This flour amounts to a very thin layer of
pasta when it cooks, keeping the gnudi together. Cut the cylinder into
one-inch-long dumplings, toss with more flour. Set the gnudi aside and
cover with a very slightly moist towel. Continue to roll out the rest of
the dough in the same manner. Bring a large pot of salted water to a
boil. Add the gnudi a few at a time and allow them to cook until they
float. When they come to the surface, let them cook for another 45 seconds
or so, until they feel firm to the touch. At this point they can be
tossed in the sauce or chilled in an ice water bath to be reheated later.

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